Chances are that you no longer remember whom you’ve named as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. You should find out. Why? The beneficiaries that you listed with your life insurance company trump any beneficiary designations that you may have made via your Minnesota Will.
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Your Minnesota Will covers only what is known as your “probate assets”. If your Will provides that each of your 3 children is to inherit one-third of your estate, each child will inherit one-third of your “probate assets” only.
Stated another way, the wording of your Will has no impact on assets that are considered “non-probate assets”, and your non-probate assets may be a significant portion of your estate. » Read more..
The upfront costs of creating a Revocable Living Trust is almost certain to be higher than creating a Will, but a Revocable Living Trust may be cheaper in the end. Why? The Revocable Living Trust typically avoids the time and expense of probate. » Read more..
Probate in Minnesota does take some time and does cost some money, but typically it’s not the legal equivalent of a root canal.
Given that your trustee and personal representative (a/k/a “executor”) are charged with ensuring that your Revocable Trust agreement and Will are followed, it’s important to select the right persons to assume these responsibilities.
Both personal representatives of a Will and trustees of a Trust are fiduciaries. As fiduciaries, they are legally required to act for the benefit of your beneficiaries — not for their own benefit — in following the terms of your Will or Trust. » Read more..
Although most Minnesotans seek to avoid probate, there are pros to probate as well as cons.
Because probate involves the court — an open and public process — probate provides a level of transparency to all potential heirs and beneficiaries that may not exist otherwise. » Read more..
Pro — Avoid Probate: All assets held in a Revocable Living Trust avoid probate. Probate avoidance is especially helpful when you own real estate in more than one state. If real estate is owned in your name alone, it may trigger a probate action in each state where the real estate is located. » Read more..
There are several “pros” and some “cons” for Minnesotans to consider when deciding whether to establish a Revocable Living Trust. For many, the pros outweigh the cons. » Read more..
When the second parent dies and there is no Will, supposedly mature adult children may find themselves back in the sandbox fighting like five-year-olds. A Will cannot ensure that such behavior won’t happen, but it may help prevent such ugliness.
Suppose that your Will states that all of your three children are to inherit your assets equally. Suppose also that the beneficiary designation on your life insurance policy only lists two of your children as beneficiaries because your third one had not been born at the time that you filled out the form years ago.
What happens? » Read more..